Biography

Left – Mark O’Connor on Bass Drum Right – Rob Smith on Tenor Saxophone

Wonderbrass are a 25+ strong ‘explosion of sound’ from Cardiff, bringing a mixture of New Orleans jazz, ska, funk and fun to audiences nationwide.

The band are led by multi instrumentalist and composer Rob Smith and top drummer Mark O’Connor and provides an inclusive, creative and dynamic approach to making music that inspires both the musicians and audiences alike; embracing a wide variety of styles and performing in venues of every size all over the country.

From the contemporary hip-hop and funk updates, the groovy township beat of Abdullah Ibrahim and even the coeval pop of Lady Gaga and Madonna!

Jazz has always drawn on popular songs and styles that are really just in the air at the time so people shouldn’t be surprised to hear Spice Girls songs and Kanye West tunes forming the basis of some of our performances. Rob Smith, Musical Director

Jason Yarde

Jason Yarde

 

From their humble beginnings as a ten week workshop in the South Wales Valleys in 1992, Wonderbrass have moved from strength to strength over the last twenty years, working with prolific artists such as South Africa’s Amampondo, Claude Deppa, the illustrious King Django and now, for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, top jazz composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde. Showcasing his composition Skip, Dash, Flow, Yarde has created an exciting, dynamic work that takes audiences and players alike on a cultural voyage, following the Olympics from its previous venue in Beijing, through London in 2012 and on to the next port of call, Rio de Janeiro.

Of the 19 other musical groups selected, Wonderbrass is the only Welsh organisation to be chosen to participate. Visit the Projects page to find out more about this programme and our involvement in it.

Wonderbrass are not like other bands; although we charge a performance fee, the musicians don’t get paid. Instead, the fees are used to fund tuition costs and projects for the band so that members are able to perform with and learn from top musicians from a variety of backgrounds and genres. This also means that we play for the love of it, so a professional and passionate performance is guaranteed every time.

Expect an intoxicating mix of jazz, Latin, ska, pop, township and soul performed on an eclectic mix of instruments including trumpets, flutes, trombones, saxophones, guitar, drums and keyboards.

A band for all occasions – guaranteed to lift your spirits and your knees wherever you hear them.

Contact us to book us for a performance which will feature this unique commission in 2012.